When Tammy and Stephen Tolhurst bought a small hotel in Middleham with the intension of turning it back into a family home, they calculated that the conversion would take three months.
In fact, it took a year thanks in part to their exacting standards and their desire to enhance and improve the beautiful Georgian building.
“Fortunately, the house comes with a small cottage and so we were able to live in that until the project was finished,” says Mrs Tolhurst, a gifted seamstress who made all the soft furnishings, including the elaborate curtains.
It was well worth the wait as the work, which included moving the drawing room back down to the ground floor, has helped make the property user-friendly.
“We moved the drawing room into what was the dining room and it is now my favourite place in the house. It really didn’t work having it upstairs especially when we had guests round and we had to schlep up the stairs with food and drink,” says Mrs Tolhurst.
Since the first renovation 16 years ago, the couple have made other improvements, including a new en-suite, a paved drive and the complete re-design and planting of a walled garden.
Middleham Grange is now one of the most admired properties in the town, which is famous for its castle and its horse racing industry.
The grade two listed house is thought to have been built in 1720 for a local merchant, while the cottage was staff quarters. The main accommodation is arranged over three floors. On the ground floor, there are four elegant reception rooms, a kitchen with four oven Aga and a utility room and W.C. On the upper floors there is a master bedroom with en-suite, a dressing room with open fire, five further bedrooms, four of which have en-suites, and a house bathroom. Grange Cottage has a castellated façade and can be accessed from the main house. It has a breakfast kitchen and sitting room on the ground floor and two double bedrooms and a house bathroom.
Outside, there are wrought iron, Grade II listed gates leading to a large parking area and garage. To the side of the house there is a garden with a lawn and raised beds and the walled garden is at the rear.
Mr and Mrs Tolhurst are selling to downsize and move closer to family in Harrogate. “I have loved living here. Middleham is such a wonderful, interesting place to be. It has race horses, beautiful countryside and a thriving community,” says Mrs Tolhurst.
Contact: Knight Frank, tel: 01423 530088, www.knightfrank.co.uk